This is an extract from RSL Queensland’s By-Laws which are available in full from this link. If you are engaging in services with RSL Queensland, you agree to abide by this Code of Conduct as if you were a member of the League in Queensland.
15.1 Who this Code of Conduct applies to
Please read this Code of Conduct as it applies to all members of the League in Queensland as a By- Law made under State Branch Constitution. This Code of Conduct should be read together with the State Branch Constitution and By-Laws, in particular By-Law 7.
District Boards are empowered to review and intervene in any breach of this Code of Conduct, where the Board of District may refer a breach of this Code of Conduct to the Sub Branch for its consideration, or otherwise refer the matter to the Tribunal if required to do so under the By-Laws.
Everything we do in connection with RSL Queensland should be measured against the highest standards of ethical conduct. Living these behaviours consistently helps enhance who we are and what we do.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to outline behaviours that are expected of us as members of the League.
a) This Code of Conduct guides, shapes and informs our everyday activities as members of the League, in how we treat each other, care for veterans and their families, and how we conduct ourselves when dealing with other people.
b) This Code of Conduct is designed to help members make sound and responsible decisions in their dealings with members, employees, volunteers and other stakeholders, in the best interests of the League.
c) This Code of Conduct does not outline every situation, or every law that may apply, but offers a set of guidelines that should inform the behaviours that are expected of us as members of the League.
d) This Code of Conduct outlines the behaviour expected of us in and around Sub Branches and Districts as places where we meet with each other, and with employees, volunteers, clients and customers.
e) This Code of Conduct considers the use of common sense as a guiding principle.
15.3 RSL Values
This Code of Conduct reflects the culture and values of RSL Queensland and is underpinned by the RSL Values that apply to all RSL Queensland members, employees and volunteers in Queensland. In adhering to this Code of Conduct, we adopt and put these RSL values into practice.
Our commitment to the RSL Values helps us build and provide services for veterans and their families and supports the Objects of the League.
We All Should Create Positive Change
- We are curious and ask if there is a better way
- We look for opportunities that empower people to create their own future
- We collaborate with one another to implement effective solutions
- We are adaptable and flexible
- We create an environment where innovation and smarter ways of working are acknowledged, encouraged and shared
We All Should Walk The Talk
- We are accountable for our actions
- We deliver on our promises
- We demonstrate high levels of drive and motivation that translate into output
- We lead by example and set standards for professional behaviour
- Wherever possible, we willingly and actively support those in other teams who are in need of assistance
We All Should Be Veteran Focused
- We are courteous, considerate and always willing to help
- We go the extra mile
- We adapt our services to meet changing customer and organisational needs
- We seek feedback to ensure veterans needs are met
- We consider the feelings, rights and opinions of others in every situation
We All Should Value All Voices
- We actively respect the needs, diversity and uniqueness of all
- We actively seek out the ideas of others
- Wherever possible we integrate other people’s thoughts and feedback into our work
- Our behaviour and communication are respectful, courteous and effective
- We have one vision, and are one organization
We All Should Be Open and Honest
- We share experiences, knowledge and ideas
- We act ethically
- We ask for help
- We display openness, honesty and transparency
- We give feedback in in a constructive, open, honest and respectful manner
We All Should Do It With Heart
- We show pride and passion for our RSL brand and heritage
- We take time to listen
- We act with empathy
- We go above and beyond to support team mates
- We openly champion the positive aspects of our work, our colleagues, and of RSL Queensland
CODE OF CONDUCT
15.4 Our Conduct
a) Governance, Board duties and Responsibilities
Members of Sub Branches and District Boards must ensure their Sub Branches and District Boards adhere to the Objects of the League and the Rules of the League in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Where members hold a position as a Director of a Sub Branch or District Board, they must also adhere to their Directors duties.
Where the Sub Branch or District Board is a registered charity, Directors must also ensure the Sub Branch or District Board adheres to the Governance Standards under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) which includes the following Directors duties and responsibilities:
- Act with reasonable care and diligence
- Act honestly and fairly in the best interests of the charity and for its charitable purposes
- Not misuse their position or information they gain as a Director
- Disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest
- Ensure the financial affairs of the charity are managed responsibly
- Not allow the charity to operate while insolvent
Where a Sub Branch or District Board is required to obtain the approval of State Branch for any dealings or transactions, members who hold positions as Directors must ensure that the Sub Branch or District Board obtains the prior consent of State Branch.
Clause 14.10 of the State Branch Constitution provides that a change to the constitution or By-Laws of a Sub Branch or District Board may not be made without the express written consent of State Branch.
b) Veterans and the Defence family
It is important that we place veterans and the Defence family front and centre in our decision making.
Members should ensure that any decision taken does not adversely impact on the quality of life of veterans and the Defence family and makes a positive impact.
c) Ethical behaviour
We have uncompromising ethical standards and must comply with all relevant legal and legislative requirements. A number of laws and regulations including financial, organisational, disclosure, fair trading, gaming and other requirements may apply in Sub Branch and District Board matters. We must comply with the law and take our responsibilities to comply with legislation and regulations very seriously as each of us is expected to comply with applicable legal requirements.
d) Conflict of interest
Conflicts of interest may be real or perceived and should be avoided or otherwise managed. A conflict of interest may typically arise if members are in a position of responsibility on the Board of a Sub Branch or District Board, and experience actual or perceived competing loyalties, whether it is a personal benefit or a benefit for their family or friends.
e) Gifts, benefits and entertainment
Accepting gifts, benefits or entertainment from suppliers and business partners may create the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially if the value is significant. If the gift benefit or entertainment arises in the course of Sub Branch or District Board activities, members should ensure that it is declared to the President and is recorded in a Gift registry.
Gifts, benefits and entertainment should not be accepted if this may compromise, or appear to compromise, the duties members may have as members of the Board to the Sub Branch.
This document acknowledges that Sub Branches may have relationships with Clubs that support the observance of commemoration events where food and beverages are provided.
f) Workplace relationships
Members who hold a position of responsibility in a Sub Branch or District Board should disclose to their President if they hold any personal relationships in their Sub Branch or District Board (familiar, romantic or sexual relationship). Members must ensure that the relationship does not present a conflict of interest or create a perception of favouritism or bias and should be managed to ensure that there is no direct reporting line or opportunity for financial gain.
g) Risk management
However great or small, we all have a responsibility to identify and manage risk appropriately. There is an element of risk in many aspects of our activities. If not mitigated, some risks may impact our ability to continue to operate to our purpose, or endanger the lives of members, employees, volunteers, customers or the veteran family.
h) Workplace Health and Safety
Activities conducted in or around Sub Branches and District Boards, which includes social media, may constitute activities conducted in a workplace under the Workplace Health & Safety Act 2011 (Qld). Members should be aware of and comply with workplace health and safety policies and procedures of the Sub Branch or District Board to prevent or mitigate the risk of workplace accidents, illness or injuries. Members should report any potential hazard or safety risk to their Sub Branch or District Board, as may be applicable.
i) Drugs and alcohol abuse
Our position is that alcohol abuse is incompatible with the health and safety of our people and we do not accept it. Consumption of alcohol is not banned at our locations. However, members should use good judgement and never drink in a way that leads to:
- impaired performance or driving, or inappropriate behaviour
- endangering the safety of yourself or others
- violating the law
We do not dictate how you live your life. However, we do encourage members to proactively look after their health and wellbeing. Doing so will have a positive impact.
Drug and alcohol abuse may constitute a criminal offence and any drugs or illegal substances found in Sub Branch or District Board premises should be reported to the Queensland Police Service or other relevant authority, along with any other illegal conduct or activity, such as assault or theft.
j) Bullying and harassment
All of us should feel safe in the workplace, valued for our skills and diversity, and recognised for our efforts. Those of us in leadership positions must lead our members and employees with fairness, engage in fair debate, and allow alternative points of view to be expressed.
We are committed to ensuring a violence-free work environment, and we do not tolerate any level of violence or the threat of violence in the workplace. Accordingly, our commitment and compliance with relevant legislation and policy is unwavering.
Members should be aware that inappropriate, aggressive or disrespectful behaviour, including those listed below as examples, will not be tolerated towards other members, volunteers, employees, clients or customers.
Examples of conduct and behaviours that may constitute conduct unbecoming under By-Law 7 is set out below. These examples are not exhaustive, and you should be guided by By-Law 7 as paramount.
- Profane or disrespectful language (By-Law 7.9(b))
- Derogatory statements (By-Law 7.9(b)(c))
- False statements (By-Law 7.9(d)(e)(f))
- Inappropriate touching or sexual advances, sexual comments or innuendo (By-Law 7.9(b)(c)(k))
- Inappropriate or other unlawful harassment or bullying in the workplace (By-Law 7.9(b)(k))
- Public comments undermining the trust in, and inappropriately criticising, another member or State Branch that creates reputational damage to the individual or to the League (By- Law 7.9(e)(f))
- Physical aggression including throwing an object (By-Law 7.9(a))
- Refusal to work collaboratively with others (By-Law 7.9(f))
- Demeaning or intimidating behaviour (By-Law 7.9(b))
- Racial or ethnic jokes (By-Law 7.9(b)(c))
- Inappropriate documentation and record keeping (By-Law 184.108.40.206 as a failure to adhere to rules)
- Repeated failure to respond to calls or correspondence (By-Law 7.9(f))
- Outbursts of rage or violent behaviour (By-Law 7.9(a))
- Intimidating or threatening behaviour (By-Law 7.9(a)(b))
- Inappropriate arguments with members, employees, volunteers, clients and customers (By- Law 7.9(a))
- Dishonest behaviour, including fraud and theft (By-Law 7.9(f)(k))
- Unethical or dishonest behaviour (By-Law 7.9(f)(k))
- Possession, use, sales, or distribution of illicit drug (By-Law 7.4.3 and 7.9 (k))
- Possessions of firearms, explosives, prohibited substances or illegal matter (By-Law 7.4.3 and 7.9 (k)
k) Other Conduct
Other activities which could be regarded as detrimental to the well-being and good standing of the League. Additional specific behaviours that we expect members to follow, include but are not limited to:
- Respect the ownership of all funds, assets, supplies, books and records, inventory and property of Sub Branches and District Boards
- Do not cause damage to the property of Sub Branches and District Boards
- Do not remove any property of Sub Branches or District Boards without written authorisation
- Do not fight in the workplace
- Do not swear in the workplace
- Avoid shouting and socially unacceptable behaviour in the workplace
- Do not smoke in the workplace, smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas
- Do not be rude to members, volunteers, employees, clients or customers
- Do not falsify records
l) Property and assets
We use the League's property and assets responsibly. Tools and equipment may be provided to ensure we do our jobs effectively, but members need to be responsible and respectful with all property and assets.
Funds, office supplies, motor vehicles, computers, mobile phones or other property and assets are not to be requisitioned for personal use.
If you are unsure if the use of any property or asset is appropriate or not, please speak to your Sub Branch or District Board President.
m) RSL identifiable apparel
It is important to understand that our behaviours may adversely impact on the reputation of the League, particularly when we are wearing RSL branded apparel or where we are otherwise identifiable as a member of the League in our communications in a public forum such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or other social media.
A member may be in breach of this Code of Conduct if their behaviour breaches this Code of Conduct whilst they are identifiable as an RSL member.
n) Confidentiality and Privacy
Depending on your role with the League, you may have access to information that must be treated as confidential and cannot be shared with other persons. Limited exceptions to this are where such information is publicly available, is required By-Law to be disclosed, or you have the explicit authority to do so.
Confidential information includes privacy protected information such as personal information. Sub Branches and District Boards have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to secure personal information and ensure that any use or disclosure of personal information meets the requirements of the Privacy Legislation and the expectations of the individual to whom it belongs.
o) Data security
We follow best practices for managing information securely. Anyone who requires access to Sub Branch or District Board Information Systems is required to sign a declaration accepting the terms and conditions for use. Anyone with access to the system should be aware that:
- Users are provided with unique accounts (IDs) and passwords that must not be shared with others
- Any information stored, received, communicated or sent on information systems is owned by the organisation
- Material stored, received, communicated or sent on the organisation’s system, including email, internet and intranet, may be monitored
Easy rules for internet and emails:
- If in doubt, seek guidance!
- Do not download inappropriate material
- Do not send, forward or save inappropriate information
- Be aware our system is monitored
- The system and information are owned by the Sub Branch or District Board
p) Emails and social media
We should behave in email and social media as we do in person. Just like our words and actions, messages and graphics in electronic form can be offensive to some people. Ensure that whilst identifiable as a Member you:
- Do not send racial, sexual, defamatory, threatening or obscene messages to any anyone
- Do not download, retrieve, send or store inappropriate, sexually explicit or racist material on your work computer or other work electronic device, or your own device using RSL networks
- Do not instigate or distribute ‘junk or chain’ mail that can congest the network and inhibit the free flow of business information.
- This includes your personal social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, if you are using these to discuss RSL matters.
q) Using the media to make public comments
The League has a long and proud history, built on the legacy of veterans, and our reputation is vital to ensuing we can continue to support veterans and the Defence families. If we have veterans and the Defence family foremost in all our dealings, we will make better decisions in how we handle complaints and disputes. Complaints and disputes should be handled as outlined in By-Law 7.
When comments are made by members to the media, they may be seen as representative of the entire organisation and may damage the reputation of the League.
Any public comment or solicitation from the media for comment must be approved by the State President of RSL Queensland under By-Law 13.
Normally, District Presidents who have media training will be given permission by the State Presidents to speak in their Districts, as will Sub Branch Presidents with approval from their District Presidents.
Should you be invited to speak at any conferences, seminars or similar where you are representing RSL Queensland, seek approval before accepting.
r) Government stakeholders
It is the role of RSL Queensland as State Branch to represent the interests of members, veterans and the Defence family in Queensland.
Members should ensure that any stakeholder engagement with government or regulatory authorities are channelled through their District President for representation at State Branch level.
PROCESS AND PROCEDURES
15.5 What to do if you have any concerns?
Like all codes and rules, some people will knowingly or unknowingly act in ways that go against the intent of this Code of Conduct.
In some instances, you may feel comfortable challenging members, however if the matter is serious and you do not feel comfortable about challenging their behaviour or decisions, you should promptly report your concerns to your Sub Branch or District Board President.
Any person, acting in good faith, may report a breach of this Code of Conduct to their Sub Branch or District Board President if the matter is serious and has the potential to injure people or the reputation of the League. If the matter relates to a Sub Branch or District Board President, the matter may be dealt with in accordance with the Discipline and Disputes in By-Law 7.
15.6 Breach of this Code of Conduct
a) This Code of Conduct constitutes an RSL Rule
This Code of Conduct constitutes an RSL Rule within the meaning of By-Law 220.127.116.11, and a breach of this Code of Conduct is a breach of an RSL Rule.
By-Law 7.4.1 provides that a member may be disciplined where the member:
- 18.104.22.168 - Refuses or wilfully neglects to comply with the RSL Constitution, By-Laws and/or any other RSL Rules
- 22.214.171.124 - Is guilty of conduct unbecoming a member
- 126.96.36.199 - Is guilty of conduct subversive to the objects and values of the League
- 188.8.131.52 - Is convicted of any indictable offence or imprisoned for a simple offence.
b) Sub Branches are the first port of call
A key principle for all disciplinary matters and the resolution of disputes is that these matters should be dealt with at a grass roots level in the first instance by the Sub Branch.
By-Law 7.5.7 enables all Sub Branches to determine a breach of this Code of Conduct, unless the breach constitutes a disciplinary matter that must be referred to the Tribunal under the By-Law. By-Law 7 contains a flow chart entitled “Complaints Process By-Law 7” which confirms the role of Sub Branches of dealing with all Disciplinary and Dispute matters, including a breach of this Code of Conduct.
c) Referral to Queensland Police Service or other relevant authority
A matter may not be dealt with as a disciplinary matter under this By-Law or By-Law 7 if:
- the matter is subject to investigation or action under criminal law or
- the matter is one where action under a statute has been initiated
until such time as it has been dealt with in the courts or statutory authorities, or the police and/or statutory authorities have refused to proceed with the matter.